Former Brazilian player Dani Alves received his rape conviction on February 22. In December 2021, the ex-Brazilian international was allegedly involved in a sexual assault incident at a nightclub in Barcelona.

Authorities sentenced the former player to a jail term, fined him $164,000, and required him to pay the victim’s legal fees. They have imposed a 9.5-year ban on him from contacting her.

Many were taken aback when the court sentenced player Dani Alves to a four-and-a-half-year jail term for sexual assault. Even the Brazilian government considered the sentence ‘lenient’ given the ‘atrocity’ of the crime committed.

The Spanish Prosecutor’s Office initially sentenced the 40-year-old to nine to 12 years in jail. However, there was a “mitigating factor” in the form of the defendant paying the victim before the trial. Eventually, it resulted in a lower sentence.

An article from UOL states that Dani Alves reduced the total duration of his incarceration. It was all thanks to financial assistance from Neymar‘s family, which he used to pay the fine. As a payment for “mitigating compensation for damage caused,” Neymar allegedly sent $164,000 to the Spanish institutions on August 9.

Yet, Neymar’s payment on his behalf significantly affected the length of Alves’ sentence. It would seem that the maximum sentence for sexual offenses in Spanish courts is 12 years in prison.

Neymar faces strong criticism

After his divorce from Dinorah Santana, Alves’ assets have been blocked, so Neymar had to step in. To make matters worse for the player, she has him in court for failure to pay alimony.

As a result of his involvement in the sexual assault case involving his former national team colleague, Neymar has now come under fire from some prominent politicians in Brazil. Cida Goncalves, Brazil’s minister for women, criticized the sentence, calling it “soft”. Meanwhile, while Gleisi Hoffman, head of the Worker’s Party and a representative, criticized the Al-Hilal player for supporting Alves.

“The conviction of the rapist Daniel Alves is pedagogical and exemplary, it shows that society no longer tolerates sexist and misogynistic behavior. The absurd thing was that he borrowed money from Neymar, paid the compensation and reduced the sentence, something that does not solve anything for the victim, it does not erase their suffering”, said Hoffman.

It makes one wonder where the authorities draw the line between ensuring justice for the wealthy and those without means. In terms of Alves’ riches, it’s a small part of his money and yearly pay, and according to reports, it’s less than Neymar’s weekly wages.

Alves out of prison earlier than expected?

Much worse, Alves may be eligible for early release from prison later this year. Consulting with legal counsel, they have determined that Alves may be eligible for early release from jail in January of 2026. That is if he has complied with the terms of his sentence and shown good behavior.

Prisoners in Spain are classified into three levels. Most severely restricted to their cells are the first-degree inmates because of the risk they pose. This second is more typical because it allows convicts to do things like study or work outside of their cells.

But, jails allow prisoners serving their third degree to leave the prison grounds during the day, as long as they return to their cells for the night.

Inmates must have performed well for one-third of their sentence—in this instance, 18 months—to be eligible for this third degree. By July of 2024, he would have served his time in prison throughout the inquiry and trial, having turned himself in in January of 2023.

Photo credit: IMAGO / CordonPress.